PALMA'S Son Sant Joan airport will serve as a hub for Air Berlin linking the Spanish cities of Murcia and Santiago de Compostela with 15 European destinations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and 12 other Spanish cities with Holland, the airline announced. From November 1, Air Berlin will have flights from Murcia and from Santiago to the following cities, via Son Sant Joan: Berlin, Cologne, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig, Munich, Munster, Nuremberg, Paderborn, Stuttgart, Vienna and Zurich. A company spokesman said yesterday that there would be daily flights on most of the routes. The fare from Murcia and Santiago to Palma will be from 29 euros and to the other destinations from 59 euros. There will also be improved links with Amsterdam via Palma, from Alicante, Almeria, Barcelona, Bilbao, Ibiza, Jerez de la Frontera, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Madrid, Malaga, Reus, Seville and Valencia. On six of the routes there will be daily flights.
The airline announced that bookings can already be made and pointed out that the earlier the booking is made, the lower the price.
Low cost airlines are changing the face of tourism as travellers become more independent and use the internet to find the lowest fares.
The local travel industry has noted this trend and many hoteliers are taking advantage of it, to seek independent travellers rather than package tours. The tourism authorities are also devising ways of encouraging independent travellers, especially in the low season, by targetting sports such as golf and rambling, as well as culture and gastronomy. However, many hoteliers still complain that the authorities are too lax when it comes to all inclusive holidays in which the tourist pays for everything in his or her home country, a practice which has hit local bars and restaurants.y

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